1. olliemae

    olliemae Senior Member

    Kyoto, Japan
    New Zealand/America, English
    What do you think about the order of these paired words? For example, in English we say "black and white" instead of "white and black".

    I came across the following in a translation assignment:

    gauche-droite, devant-derrière, dessus-dessous

    Are these in the natural French order? I think in English we would say:
    right-left, front-back, on-under

    It seems odd that French would do it the other way, although why not?

    What do you think?
  2. marcolo

    marcolo Senior Member

    Bordeaux, France
    France, french
    Well, sorry but "left-right" is the good way !
    Because we write from the left to the right.
    Maybe US americans say left-right, and english right-left.
    That's not impossible...
  3. cropje_jnr

    cropje_jnr Senior Member

    Canberra, Australia
    English - Australia
    I'm not sure, Ollimae, whether I would draw any distinction between "left-right" and "right-left" when just printed out of context (in English, that is)... :D

    I agree with Marcolo about the logic of "left-right" (again in English), I presume because of the point about reading from left to right.
  4. zanzi

    zanzi Senior Member

    in South Africa
    French from France
    I would also say that it's not unmovable, and that both are acceptable, gauche-droite like droite- gauche.
  5. bloomiegirl

    bloomiegirl Senior Member

    New York
    US English
    Maybe it's not so logical as that... King Google says:
    left-right - 1,390,000 hits
    right-left - 9,040,000 hits.
  6. olliemae

    olliemae Senior Member

    Kyoto, Japan
    New Zealand/America, English
    I would agree with "King Google". Generally these things have some set order, but perhaps some are more set than others. Obviously if I said "forth and back" you would think I was weird.

    Thanks for your comments everyone!
  7. quizz New Member

    I had this question and found the thread .... loved the "king google" approach and sent this note to bloomiegirl privately - meant to post to thread, but hey, what the hey ....

    ====start ...
    I did same as you with google in FRENCH and there is a big oops ....

    since the question was about the french side of things and then it diverged to the how it's done in english .... I guess your numbers were correct in english, but

    when you do the french, you get same 12-13 million hits for gauche-droite and for droite-gauche .... so there seems to be some kind of difference in the languages so that there is similarity in french but dissimilarity in english

    all this because I want to use the two words and had the same question ....

    hope this from your 2007 post is funny for you ....​

  8. bloomiegirl

    bloomiegirl Senior Member

    New York
    US English

    Hello quizz and welcome to Wordreference's French-English translation forum! :D

    You're right, of course. The original question was about the word order in French. But the question was posted in the French-English translation forum, and – since that's what we do, we translated it! To a hammer, every problem looks like a nail.


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